Establishes the direct support professional credential pilot program to assist and attract individuals into the field of direct support, advance direct support as a career and professionalize the field to promote workforce recruitment and retention efforts, while creating a career ladder; requires the office for people with developmental disabilities to administer such pilot program for three years; makes related provisions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the direct support professional credential pilot program
PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The purpose of the bill is to establish a credential pilot program for the developmental disabilities sector direct support professionals to promote workforce recruitment and retention efforts and enhance competency in the field.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill creates the direct support professional credential pilot program. The pilot, to be administered by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), will assess how a state recognized accredited credential program will foster a direct support workforce that demonstrates competency of complex skills and ethical decision making which yields a healthy and safe service delivery system.
Section 2 of the bill establishes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The main purpose of a credentialing program is to provide recognition for the competence and skills of the individual meeting the professional requirements of the program. Individuals who obtain a specific credential have received training in their field of expertise, thereby representing their trade with high quality and holding to a higher standard as a professional.
A recognized direct support professional credential in New York State's developmental disabilities field highlights the value of direct support, fosters the importance of the profession and continues to acknowledge the importance of a well trained front line workforce. Individuals who have received the training have demonstrated, firsthand, skills, competency and proficiency in carrying out their responsibilities as a direct support professional.
Clarence Sundram, former Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo on Vulnerable Persons, highlights the importance of "a strong, well trained and committed direct support staff' as one of "Four Pillars to the Safety Net" introduced in the April 2011 report "The Measure of a Society: Protection of Vulnerable Persons in Residential Facilities Against Abuse & Neglect". The first of the "Four Pillars" recognizes that the foundation of a strong, well trained and committed direct support staff is a "dependable, competent and caring core of direct support staff' (page 49). The report recommends that "each state agency adopt a Direct Support Professional credentialing program that certifies competency and professional ethical conduct" (page 71). The report further states "The credentialing program should be reinforced through compensation incentives and career pathways based on achievement. Recognizing that this effort cannot be accomplished immediately and will likely have cost implications, each state agency should develop a plan to accomplish this objective over the next two years working with the voluntary sector as well as the state labor unions and the Department of Civil Service" (page 72).
The establishment of a direct support professional credential pilot program will afford direct support professionals in the developmental disabilities sector the opportunity to obtain a credential in their field of expertise, enhance the skills and competencies of certain individuals and assess how the credential 1) promotes workforce recruitment efforts 2) advances the health and safety of the developmental disabilities service delivery system 3) enhances retention of skilled and passionately committed individuals in the field.
OPWDD shall produce a report detailing the progress of the pilot program related to the rate of recruitment and retention of direct support professionals participating in the pilot, the projected number of direct support professionals to be credentialed through the pilot, and how quality of supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities have been enhanced, measurably.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPACT: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect one hundred and eighty days after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5102--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 8, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Mental Health and Develop- mental Disabilities -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Finance -- reported favorably from said committee and committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to establishing the direct support professional credential pilot program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section 13.41 to read as follows: S 13.41 DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL PILOT PROGRAM. (A) THE OFFICE SHALL INITIATE A PROGRAM TO CONTINUE TO GAIN THE EXPER- TISE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES WORKFORCE AND OF THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES WORKFORCE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION NEEDS THROUGHOUT THE FIELD. THE OFFICE SHALL IMPLEMENT A DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL PILOT PROGRAM TO ASSIST AND ATTRACT INDIVIDUALS INTO THE FIELD OF DIRECT SUPPORT, ADVANCE DIRECT SUPPORT AS A CAREER AND PROFESSIONALIZE THE FIELD TO PROMOTE WORKFORCE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION EFFORTS, ADVANCE SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES, AND FURTHER ENSURE THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF INDIVIDUALS BEING SERVED. (B) THERE HEREBY IS CREATED THE DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL PILOT PROGRAM WITHIN THE OFFICE TO ASSIST INDIVIDUALS IN THE FIELD OBTAIN A CREDENTIAL IN THEIR FIELD OF EXPERTISE. (1) SUCH PILOT PROGRAM SHALL BE ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE FOR THREE YEARS. THE PILOT PROGRAM SHALL INCLUDE STATE-OPERATED FACILITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT PROVIDERS, LICENSED AND CERTIFIED BY THE OFFICE. THE PURPOSE OF THE PILOT PROGRAM SHALL BE TO ASSESS HOW THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STATE ACCREDITED DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL: (A) PROMOTESEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10817-02-3 S. 5102--A 2
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION EFFORTS IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FIELD, NOTABLY THE DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL POSITION; (B) ENHANCES COMPETENCE IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES FIELD; (C) YIELDS QUALITY SUPPORTS AND SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES; AND (D) ADVANCES THE HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH BY THE STATE. (2) THE OFFICE IN ADMINISTERING THE PILOT PROGRAM SHALL CONSIDER, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE FOLLOWING: (A) BEST PRACTICES LEARNING INITIATIVES, INCLUDING THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA'S COLLEGE OF DIRECT SUPPORT AND NEW YORK STATE DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES; (B) NATIONAL DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES OR CREDENTIALING BASED STANDARDS AND TRAININGS; (C) FACILITATING DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT; (D) THE ROLE AND VALUE OF SKILL MENTORS; AND (E) CREATING A CAREER LADDER. (3) DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL MEANS A DOCUMENT ISSUED TO AN INDIVIDUAL BY A RECOGNIZED ACCREDITING BODY ATTESTING THAT SUCH INDI- VIDUAL HAS MET THE PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE CREDENTIALING PROGRAM BY THE OFFICE. (4) THE OFFICE SHALL PRODUCE A REPORT DETAILING THE PROGRESS OF THE PILOT PROGRAM, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: (A) THE RATE OF RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION FOR DIRECT SUPPORT PROFES- SIONALS OF PROVIDERS PARTICIPATING IN THE PILOT PROGRAM COMPARED TO THE RATE FOR NON-PARTICIPATING PROVIDERS; (B) THE NUMBER OF DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS CREDENTIALED; AND (C) THE ENHANCEMENT OF QUALITY SUPPORTS AND SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.